Bro. Jason's Blog
|Posted by Jason on December 9, 2016 at 10:50 AM||comments (0)|
In drawing near to the close of another year, I find myself helping my youth pastor prepare to take a step into full-time pastoral leadership in Indiana. He is transitioning from our youth department to becoming the senior pastor of a church in northern Indiana. So as I help prepare him for his new normal, I started writing down leadership principles that I thought would be helpful to him.
I have been a student of leadership most of my life. At the age of 13 I was umpiring TBall in my home town making $80 per week. I thought I was making money, all the while God was making me into a leader. From the age of 19 I have been in one supervisory role or another. In the automotive field I was in managment for 13 years and now I have been a full time pastor for 16+ years.
I did not provide a Bible chapter and verse for this list, although many biblical principles have shaped how i have been taught and what I have learned over the years. I don't pretend to bat 1,000 on all of these either. I have learned from doing things the right way and the wrong way. My hope is that this list will not only help my youth pastor stepping into a new leadership role, perhaps you can glean something from these perspectives that I have shared.
1. Renew & Train The Mind
Thinking on the right things and with the right perspective is key. What we think about and how we think will come out in our behavior and speech. The Bible must be central in shaping your thoughts and actions.
2. Be Authentic
“Say and Do” what you believe. Be who God has created you to be and who God is currently shaping you to become. Don’t try to fit yourself into someone else's mold.
3. Compete Against Self
Be your fiercest competitor. Don’t try to measure up to what someone else is doing. With Gods’ help, attempt to be the best “you” this world can ever witness. So, don’t focus on the competition, focus on becoming who God has created you to be.
4. Stack The Deck
You will be at your best when you are around people that believe in you and think like you think. When you surround yourself with people that like “who you are” and “what you bring to the table” you will make progress. If you are someone’s 5th choice, you may not operate from a position of strength. When they want “you” and know they need “you”, you will have a better chance helping the overall group.
5. Ask The Right Questions
Always ask the right questions and answer the right questions for people. People can quickly see “what” you do and maybe “how” you do it….but they don’t always know “why” you do what you do. The question “why” is perhaps the most important question to ask and answer for people. If you want people to follow your lead, then your “why” must also become their “why” in regards to purpose.
6. Be The Last To Speak
In a group/meeting setting, if possible, let everyone else in the room speak. Listen to them and ask “why” and “how” they have come to their conclusion. It helps to know where people are coming from. Then when everyone else has shared their thoughts, share your thoughts and you will find that you and the group may be on the same page in some areas. Letting the group go first helps them to feel valued. They feel heard. This takes discipline but also builds a team that isn’t afraid to share their thoughts. If you do all the sharing, no one else will do any of the thinking. This equals to very little “buy in” as to where you are leading the group.
7. Lift Others Up
Some of your greatest success will come by way of helping others achieve or exceed their potential. Making yourself available to help others and allowing others to help you will increase the bottom line, whatever it is. No one succeeds alone and iron sharpens iron.
8. Be Patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day and Rome didn’t fall apart in a day. Sometimes it takes time to facilitate change and/or make progress. Be patient with yourself and others. In climbing a mountain there is much to see and much to enjoy as you climb. The views are good all the way up, not just at the summit. Be patient and don’t miss out on the “here and now” as you aim for the future.
9. Manage Time Well
Whatever you do today, you exchange it for one day of your life. Therefore, manage your time well and enjoy what you do. Procrastination leads to a rushed spirit and a “shooting from the hip” mentality. When we fail to manage our time, our preparation suffers and the outcome is a “ less than” result. Remember, you are in charge of your calendar in most situations. Giving too much of your time to people that drain you will affect your efficiency and progress.
10. Know When To Walk Away
When you rarely see fruit from your labor and you are continually trying to convince those around you to “stay on mission”, after much patience and prayer, then walking away may be the right action. Knowing when to walk away is important. On the other hand you may be at the top of your game and there is very little “challenge” or “room for growth” in your current situation. When you stop growing as an individual within a group and you have done all that you can to grow and advance….then prayerfully looking for a new “challenge” may be in order. Most folks say “bloom where you are planted”, that’s true. But after you bloom for awhile, you may find that God desires to plant you in a different environment to help others grow as well as yourself. Again, knowing when to walk away is important in good times and in difficult times.
|Posted by Jason on November 21, 2016 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
When you walk through the halls of your local elementary school this time of year, you see Thanksgiving decorations that include pilgrims, indians, turkeys and fallen leaves. I love this time of year.
When you look back to the founding of this country you find that America's earliest settlers were called pilgrims. By definition a pilgrim is a person that journeys to a sacred place for religious purposes. The word pilgrim used as a verb means to travel or wander.
This word pilgrim can also been found in the Bible as a description of Christians that are on a journey, travelling to a sacred place, a holy city in heaven. If you are a Christian, this planet is not your home. You are simply here for a short period of time, travelling through on a journey to glory land.
1 Peter 2:9–12 (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
In this passage there are a few characteristics of a pilgrim:
1. Pilgrims - They travel from afar, they have come a great distance.
If you are a born again Christian, you are a pilgrim and have travelled from afar. God has brought you out of the dark and into the light. You have went from being seperated from God by your sin nature, to being reconcilled to God by the blood of Jesus Christ. You were lost, now you are found. You have come a great distance, all by the power of God.
2. Pilgrims - They are recipients of divine guidance.
A pilgrim that is on a journey is not without help. When a person places their faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live within them. The Holy Spirit is our teacher, helper and guide. He guides us into not only where we should go, but also how we should live. In coming to Christ we, as pilgrims, are the recipients of divine guidance. So, you are not alone on this journey. God is with you and He will direct your path. See Proverbs 3:5-6
3. Pilgrims - Their destination is not only a real place, but it is highly spiritual.
America's early pilgrims were looking to come to this country in order to worship God freely in spirit and in truth. Their goal in coming to America was highly spiritual. Our goal as we travel through this life is that one day our temporary lives down here will be over and we will cross over into glory land which is highly spiritual. We know this life on earth is temporary and not our destination. Our destination is heaven and it is highly spiritual because God is seated on His throne there.
This time of year we thank God for so many things. We thank God for His blessings, our family and our country. We also thank God that we have this opportunity to be a spiritual pilgrim like Peter was talking about in his epistle. As pilgrims let us abstain from the fleshly lusts that war against our souls (v11), let us have conduct that is honorable among the lost (v12), and let us have good works that will point the lost to Jesus Christ (v12).
Pilgrim, as you travel toward heaven following Jesus Christ, may many lost people encounter your witness and call on Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
|Posted by Jason on May 18, 2016 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
The first command that God gave to Adam and Eve as a married couple, was to be fruitful and multiply. (see Genesis 1:28)
He was looking for these two God fearing human beings to reproduce and give birth to God fearing children, that would in turn grow up, marry and give birth to God fearing children etc.
This is why the sin of homosexuality and sin of rejecting your God assigned gender is such an abomination. These two sins are rebellion against this first commandment "to be fruitful and multiply".
A same sex marriage cannot produce a human being. Only God can do that through a man and a woman. Dressing as a man when you are biologically a woman is a sin because the person is rejecting the gender that God assigned them. Again, this is high treason for the creation, mankind, to say to God the creator, "I think you made a mistake in assigning my sexual orientation".
You say, preacher, "its no different than any other sin, sin is sin".
No. Sin nature is sin nature. But individual sins carry different consequences and have greater punishments (see the entire Bible). Committing murder carries with it a different consequence than that of stealing a persons coat.
These sins that go directly against pro-creation are an abomination, just like the worship of false gods, witchcraft etc.
Ok, preacher, can't we just say "live and let live". Yes, but the problem is, the LGBT agenda wants to teach our children that their choices (which are sinful) must be accepted. The LGBT movement wants to change all laws so that their sinful choice becomes acceptable in every aspect of life.
So, what do we do as Bible believing Christians?
1. Pray and make sure that you are walking in obedience to Gods' Word.
2. Teach your children the Bible. Don't wait for a Sunday School teacher to do this. Take responsibility for the discipleship of your family in the things of God.
3. Attend Church regularly and be supported and give support to the Body of Christ. All hands on deck. Don't let everything else keep from the house of God on Sunday.
4. Serve the Lord by speaking the truth in love within your circle of influence and upon the platform that God provides.
5. Vote for government leaders that have biblical convictions. (local, state and federal). I would not vote for a dog catcher if he was ok with abortion and same sex marriage!
6. Be watchful! Jesus is coming soon! Tell others about His saving grace. Our marching orders have not changed, so don't get too bogged down with all of these distractions from the enemy.
|Posted by Jason on May 4, 2016 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
1 Samuel 15:22–23 (NKJV)
22 So Samuel said:“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”
(read all of 1 Samuel Chapter 15 to get the entire context).
In Chapter 15 Saul learns from Samuel that partial obedience to the command of God is full disobedience.
He goes on in v23 and refers to it as rebellion and says that rebellion against the Lord is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
The Lord gave King Saul some marching orders and Saul decided to change them on the fly.....The Lord saw it all, He then sends Samuel the prophet to tell the King that he sinned. Of course, Saul didn't think he had sinned at all. Saul felt pretty good about what he had done concerning the destruction of the Amalakites. Saul partially obeyed Gods' command and God called it sin. Saul didn't think he had sinned because he measured his actions against his own thoughts and opinions of what needed to be done concerning the Amalakites.
What the Holy Spirit and Gods' Word tells us to do...that is what we need to pursue. When we ignore what God says and pursue our own agenda concerning "what He has said", then we are re-writing Gods' word and making ourselves out to be God. And that my friends is rebellion, iniquity and idolatry......sins that God places in the category with witchcraft.
What did God do to Saul? V23 says that God then rejected Saul from being King. Friend, if God has to take responsibility away from us, then we are in trouble.
Our response to all of this? Stay humble and submit to the Word of the Lord. What He says to you through His Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit....pursue it prayerfully and with all your heart.
|Posted by Jason on April 26, 2016 at 9:25 AM||comments (0)|
Looking back over the last few chapters of Judges you find an atrocity that took place in a city called Gibeah of Benjamin. You find a man threatened by a group of sexually immoral men. They wanted to take a Levite that had befriended this man and have their way with him.(see Judges chapter 19). Instead they take the man's concubine and rape her all night long and bring her back to the door of the home where she if found dead the next morning.
The man who owned the concubine, grieved in his heart, then cut her up into pieces, placed each piece on a donkey and sent a piece of her body to each of the tribes of Israel with a note attached.
When the tribes heard this news, they approach the tribe of Benjamin with this accusation, but the tribe of Benjamin decided not to enforce the law, in fact, the tribe of Benjamin rose up against the other eleven tribes. Benjamin was utterly defeated due to God siding with justice.
What does this have to do with us today?
Concerning Judges chapters 19-21, J.Vernon McGee made this statement decades ago. "Following religious apostasy, then moral awfulness, the next step downward in the life of Israel (and of every nation) is political anarchy."
Anarchy is defined by Webster as : lawlessness, lack of government in a country, confusion.
Tell me, are we not wearing these shoes today in the U.S. ?
We have laws being passed that protect the perverted.
We have laws being passed that protect the criminal instead of the innocent in society.
All in the name of political correctness, all in the name of being afraid of lawsuits. (our legal system is partially responsible for this climate we live in #ambulancechasers).
Read Romans 13, Government was invented by God to protect civilians from unbridled sin within the culture. It is used as a restraint to protect the weak and defenseless.
When a government turns a blind eye toward lawlessness and protects the criminal more than the innocent....then governments role of restraining sin in the culture is gone. People still individually have to choose not to rape, murder, molest, steal and so on, but government is designed to help protect innocent people from the wicked people.
I guess if you are a wicked person, bent on sinning against God and man...you are living in a pretty good day. You have very little consequence for your sins within some countries......however, your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23). God knows.
|Posted by Jason on April 19, 2016 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
A few weeks ago our church did something new, something different. Instead of meeting at the church for our normal Sunday evening worship service....we worshipped beyond the walls. For several weeks I promoted this opportunity for our church to go "Beyond The Walls" and worship by reaching out to our community in service and by witnessing. Over 34 church members converged at Victory Park in the heart of Norwood, Ohio.
In going beyond the walls our goal was to clean the park and to witnes and pray for people that were on the nearby sidewalks. This opportunity was embraced by young and old alike. We had several people picking up trash and we had three teams sharing the gospel on the sidewalks and at the bus stops. We also launched a new ministry that we will be expanding called "The Bread of Life". In addition to sharing the gospel (the bread of life) with people we also gave them a free loaf of bread that was donated by a local bakery. In fact, we will be giving out bread and the bread of life twice per month beginning in May.
I'm excited to say that our people enjoyed this opportunity to "be the church" and not just "attend church" on this one particular Sunday evening in April. In the future, we are going to commit to doing something like this every 6-8 weeks as the weather permits. The challenge is to find "where" the people are and prayerfully find a way to minister to them and our community.
When you and I read the gospels we find Jesus walking the streets of cities and towns....
We find Jesus interacting with all kinds of people that have many different needs...
We find Jesus not only meeting their needs but changing their lives forever...
What if Jesus had just stayed in doors? What if His mindset was....if they want to hear what I have to say, they will have to come to where I am...
Jesus went beyond the walls of a building and touched lives down the streets of towns and villages. He is still out there on the streets touching lives. Don't get me wrong, He is also in the church house... but I wonder what would happen if we were to go "Beyond The Walls" more often?
|Posted by Jason on December 8, 2015 at 8:40 AM||comments (0)|
Well, it's Christmas time and with this holiday comes the giving and exchanging of gifts. Often times the exchange of gifts is a little unfair or unequal.
When my brother was in Junior High he had drawn names in his home room class at school. He and a friend were to then buy a Christmas present to exchange with one another costing $10 or less. My mom and my brother go shopping and they find a board game for $10 and made the purchase. My mom wrapped the gift, my brother took it to school at the appointed time and the exchange was made. My brother's friend received the board game that cost $10 and was extremely happy with his present.....my brother received a $1 composition book full of notebook paper and was very disappointed. An unfair and unequal exchange had occurred.
You know, the very reason for the season of Christmas revolves around an unfair exchange, an unequal exchange.
Christmas is about Jesus coming to earth in order to make an exchange. Christ would take our place. We would take His place. All of our guilt and sin, suffering, and shame would be transferred to Him. All of His holiness, righteousness, goodness, and acceptance would be transferred to us. He would die so that we might live. The point of the exchange would be a cross on a skull shaped hill named Golgotha.
Question? Have you made an exchange with Jesus? He has already died for you and took your place on the cross.....His gift is on the table, ready for you to receive it. Have you given Him your heart, your sin, your life and received a new heart, His forgiveness and eternal life? If so, be excited about the gift of salvation that you have recieved and re-gift the plan of salvation with others this holiday season.
If you haven't placed your faith in Jesus Christ just yet.....why not today? Why not right now? Simply, call upon the name of Jesus, believe in your heart that Jesus died for you and has risen from the dead. Call on Jesus and ask Him to save you today, He loves you and is waiting to make a great exchange with you!
|Posted by Jason on October 21, 2015 at 9:20 AM||comments (0)|
Everyone has faith, but not everyone has saving faith. All human transactions are based on faith. We cannot go through a single day without exercising faith.
- Every time we mail a letter we exercise faith in the post office.
- Every time we deposit money in the bank, we exercise faith in that institution.
- Every time we take medicine we exercise faith in our Doctor and our Pharmacist.
- Every time we walk into a building or cross a bridge, we exercise faith in the architect, the engineer and the builder..
|Posted by Jason on February 17, 2015 at 3:45 PM||comments (0)|
When writing my last blog on January 13th I was about to transition from one church to another as Pastor. I was preparing to preach a trial sermon in Norwood Ohio on January 25th. The blog was about following Jesus and the word transition or change. Today, February 17th I find myself living in Cincinnati, leading a wonderful group of people at New Bethel Baptist Church and praying for God's strength, guidance and wisdom as I walk in this new day.
The word new carries with it the idea of something being fresh, unfamiliar and even strange. When I think of my transition to Norwood as being new and fresh I think of how my eyes are seeing some things for the first time. This landscape is all fresh to me.....its new. Unfamiliar? Absolutely, Bro. Jason is not in Kansas anymore! New streets to learn, new routines, new living arrangements, new everything...and I'm good with it all. In fact, God has already put a new love in my heart, a love for the people of Norwood. For the Tennessee people that read this, I still love you and thank God for you.....but now, as God has moved me to Cincinnati, I have even more people that love me and my family and more people for us to love. There are also new faces to encounter for God's glory, people like Jenn and Carolyn at Skyline Chili and a lady named Mary that I met at Kroger. If me and my family had said no to change and transition, I would have missed out on those opportunities.
New can also mean that something is strange to us. Today's morning temperature was 1...and snow everywhere....that is new to me and yes, very strange. But this is a new day, and new days bring with them experiences that are fresh, unfamiliar and strange. The result of walking into a new day is the opportunity to experience the grace of God and to trust God at a deeper level. Today, in this new day, I choose to trust the Lord with whatever comes my way.....the blessings and the challenges, today I embrace them both with open arms and thank God for the opportunity to serve Him.
All of this might be new to me but not to God.
"That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun". Ecclesiastes 1:9 NKJV
|Posted by Jason on January 13, 2015 at 11:20 AM||comments (0)|
Following the Lord is exciting, fun and difficult at times. He calls us to follow Him and if we do He will make us fishers of men. Often times we want to learn how to become fishers of men without following Jesus as He leads us. Mark it down, obeying and following Jesus is what God has called us to do in this life as believers.
With all of that said, the word transition comes to mind. The word "Transition" is defined by webster as the process or period of changing from one state or condition to another. Transition and change go hand in hand and as creatures of habit we dont like change very much.
However, following Jesus is all about change and transition. If a person is truly following the Lord then they are submitting to His leadership, guidance and ultimately the transformation of their life. With that comes change.
2 Corinthians 5:14-20 speaks of how a person is changed spiritually. Verse 17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
Here is a simple outline and thought as I look at this text that speaks of a transition or a change.
1. Jesus gives the person a "New Master". v20 says that we are ambassadors for Christ.
2. Jesus gives the person a "New Morality". v17 says old things have passed away, all things become new".
3. Jesus gives the person "New Associates". v18 says that we are now in the ministry of reconciliation. We engage new people and partner with Gods people in this ministry.
A New master, morality and associates. When all of that is new to a person then change has come, a transition has occured. They have changed from one state of living to another. God wants this new life for every person. A life of change and transition that is dependent upon His Holy Spirit, His Word and His Son.
If this all sounds foreign to you, and you dont want any part of this.....then you may not be following Jesus at all. Why? Because a person cannot follow their own heart and their own desires and follow Jesus at the same time...that is unless He has changed your heart and desires to look like His.